August Update: Wholesale & Retail Used Vehicle Price Trends

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As summer winds down, auto dealers aim to close the year strong. Staying informed on all sectors of the market is crucial for effective strategies. Auction Central is offering a helping hand by collecting the most recent data, using performance reports from the prior 12 months and examining price changes and volume trends to provide some extra insights.

Market is rebounding, but there's a lot of catching up to do

Wholesale used-vehicle prices saw a 1.6% decrease in July compared to June. The MUVVI dropped to 211.7, marking its lowest point since Q1 of January 2021 and an 11.6% year-over-year decline.

While the sizable Y-o-Y decrease is promising for decision makers in the auto industry, it’s important to contextualize these numbers. The market is rebounding from a streak of 22 consecutive months with double-digit increases from July 2020 to April 2022. Since December 2022, there have only been six instances of double-digit decreases, with just four occurring in succession.

Influenced by strong Q3 used retail sales, Q4 may see only modest declines in wholesale prices.

Listing Prices for Pre-Owned Retail by Type

Based on data provided by CarGurus, retail prices for all used vehicles saw an average reduction of 1.45% over the past 30 days and 1.50% in the preceding 90 days. Compared to summer 2022 pricing, the industry has seen a noteworthy 5.84% drop.

Breaking it down by body type, prices consistently fell for sedans, hatchbacks and crossovers. Vans experienced the most volatility, plummeting 11.79% in the past 12 months. Conversely, coupes, convertibles and trucks remained relatively stable, hovering around a 2% drop over the same period.

As expected, many luxury and high-tech brands, including Alfa Romeo, FIAT, Jaguar and Tesla, displayed the most sporadic price changes. American makes, Acura, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, and Mercury were mostly unchanged across monthly, quarterly, and yearly intervals.

Consumer Confidence - Highest in Over Two Years!

This graph from The Conference Board shows historical data regarding consumer confidence in the auto market.

The Consumer Confidence Index provides some guidance, offering insights on the direction of the auto market. It reflects the current business conditions and likely events for the coming months. Data is collected regarding attitudes, purchasing intentions, leisure activity, and outlooks on economic indicators like inflation, stock prices and interest rates.

In July, the index surged by 6.3%, reaching an almost 23% YoY increase. Plans to buy a vehicle within 6 months jumped to the highest level this calendar year. Additionally, views on the future state of the industry reached heights not seen since January of 2021.

With all these metrics available regarding price fluctuations, how should dealers assess the current and future market? Auto dealers should be cautiously optimistic for the coming months. Many customers are welcoming the idea of new vehicle purchases, while those looking for older inventory should have plenty of feasible options in the pre-owned sector for the time being.

Now What?

With new-vehicle supply improving, franchise dealers may look to offload aging inventory or flip trade-ins quickly to make space for the latest models.

Move Your Inventory

That’s where Auction Central can link sellers with a nationwide hub of buyers to list their inventory in a hassle-free manner. Car dealers are busy and time is money, so getting vehicles sold while eliminating any unnecessary legwork is paramount. Inspecting the unit, developing a condition report and getting the seller’s stamp of approval will be a seamless process for all involved. Combine this with added protection, arbitration backed by the Auction itself and a chat feature to communicate with buyers, there’s no wonder Auction Central is becoming a go-to platform to sell units!

Source Smarter

For those looking to acquire vehicles, the condition reports provide important notes and countless HD photos. Buying tools like VinTel and integrated vehicle reports from CARFAX and AutoCheck are easily accessible within the VDP. Auction Central also offers team buying support, so members in a dealer group are aware of all activity on specific units. 

If you’ve heard enough and are looking to join a network of buyers and sellers today, Click Here to get started! 

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Matthew Prendergast

Matt focuses primarily on the operational side of AC. This includes generating leads for territory managers, implementing strategic email campaigns for potential customers and developing partnership opportunities with industry professionals. Prior to joining Auction Central, he gained valuable experience working in marketing roles within the sports media, nonprofit and restaurant industries. He is a graduate of Siena College (2020).

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